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Can anyone recommend a castle to visit within 2 hours of essex (ideally english heritage)

(13 Posts)
worriedsick100 Fri 14-Mar-14 09:50:07

We are EH members and hardly ever use membership. Fancy going to castle this weekend but something that is more than a ruin. Can anyone suggest one? Ideally EH but if not no matter. Many thanks.

SDTGisAnEvilWolefGenius Fri 14-Mar-14 10:40:09

Hever castle in Kent is lovely - it was the family home of Anne Boleyn, and has a display on Henry VIII and his wives. It also has a water maze in the gardens - if you step on the wrong blocks, a fountain shoots up and you can get wet - children love it, though it is more suitable for a nice, warm day, obviously.

Hedingham Castle is also nice - it isn't ruined, but there is a bit less there than Hever. There's a lovely pub in the village, that does nice meals.

katcatkat Fri 14-Mar-14 10:42:01

dover castle is good lots of different things to do with both the old medeval castle and the ww2 tunnels.

2tired2bewitty Fri 14-Mar-14 10:43:29

I was going to say Hever too. Not perhaps your classic castle, but loads going on, fab gardens and a nice (if pricey) tea room. Might be a bit boggy in places after all this rain though.

boobyooby Fri 14-Mar-14 10:43:36

Another vote for Hever Castle here, and yes take towels / spare Tshirt for the fountains, kids tend to get soaked when you least expect it :D

puddock Fri 14-Mar-14 10:44:20

Dover (EH) is awesome! They spent millions on the renovation of the great tower, the interiors are great:

worriedsick100 Fri 14-Mar-14 12:56:49

Done Hever several times - I don't think castle that great - more like a stately home inside (must be me) Been to see jousting there and grounds are absolutely lovely.

SixerofthePixies Fri 14-Mar-14 13:01:53

Dover is good (you could do Deal too) Rochester , orford in suffolk, framlingham is more ruins so better when something is on. all EH.

worriedsick100 Fri 14-Mar-14 13:06:24

thanks for all these super ideas - we will have a trip out on sunday if it is not tipping it down!

puddock Fri 14-Mar-14 13:12:34

Worried, it's not you (re Hever) - it seems more of a stately home sort of place with nice grounds - fun place for a day out but not I think a "proper" castle in the sense of significant structural survival from the medieval period. Those all do tend to be EH (some NT) properties, at least around here...
We go to castles quite a lot; Rochester is impressive but basically ruinous (hollow inside, no floors so you climb around the walls); Deal and Walmer are Henrician forts much adapted in later life.
Dover won't disappoint grin

MsAspreyDiamonds Mon 17-Mar-14 03:52:29

Leeds Castle is not too far from Hever Castle and is a proper castle near Maidstone in Kent.

worriedsick100 Sun 23-Mar-14 21:47:14

Just to say went to Dover castle today and Puddock was right - it was fab! Highly recommended. Thanks all.

Chasingsquirrels Thu 29-May-14 09:40:27

We are in Kent this week and have been to the following EH places
Rochester castle
Deal castle
Walker castle
Dover castle

All good, but Dover was fantastic - really worth a visit, but expensive if not members.

Framlingham castle and Orford castle also good, Framlingham more so.

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